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Scican Statclave G4 Proper Instrument Loading Leave a comment

Scican Statclave G4 Proper Instrument Loading*

In this article we want to share Scican Ltd.’s proper procedures for loading instruments in a StatClave G4 Chamber Autoclave. We will cover load capacities, using the chamber rack, wrapped and unwrapped instruments, pouches, cassettes, containers, drying plates, and more.

What can be sterilized in my Statclave G4?

Before loading any instruments into the STATCLAVE, consult the instrument manufacturer’s reprocessing instructions to confirm instruments can tolerate steam sterilization temperatures.

The following material can typically be sterilized with steam:

  • Stainless steel surgical/generic instruments
  • Carbon steel surgical/generic instruments
  • Rotating and/or vibrating instruments driven by compressed air (turbines) or mechanical transmission (counter-angles, tooth scalers)
  • Glass articles
  • Mineral-based articles
  • Articles made of heat-resistant plastic
  • Articles made of heat-resistant rubber
  • Heat-resistant textiles
  • Medical textiles (gauze, pads, etc.).

CAUTION! DON’T use the STATCLAVE to sterilize liquids or pharmaceutical products. This may result in incomplete sterilization and/or damage to the autoclave.

Clean Instruments Before Sterilization

It is important to clean, rinse and dry all instruments before loading them into the autoclave. Disinfectant residues and solid debris may inhibit sterilization and damage both the instruments and the STATCLAVE. Wipe lubricated instruments thoroughly and remove any excess lubricant before loading.

Here are the Scican Statim G4 load capacities for the commonly sterilized instruments

* Load capacities listed here are for the total weights of instruments and cassettes or containers not supplied with the unit. DON’T include the weight of the chamber rack, trays, pouch rack, or drying plates that are supplied with the unit when calculating your instrument load weights.

Using the Chamber Rack

IMPORTANT! DON’T run the STATCLAVE without the chamber rack in place.

Inserting the Rack

Push the rack into the chamber until it locks into position at the back. The front of the chamber rack should be flush with the chamber flange.

CAUTION! Hot Chamber.

Inserting a chamber rack inside of a Scican Statclave G4 chamber autoclave

Using the Rack

1- Tray Configuration

Tray configuration for the Scican Statclave G4

2- Pouch Configuration

How to place pouches into a Scican Statclave G4

3- Cassette Configuration

Cassette configuration for a Scican Statclave G4

Wrapped Instruments

If you plan to store your instruments after sterilization, wrap them according to the instrument manufacturer’s instructions, select the appropriate wrapped cycle and allow it to run to completion.

Unwrapped instruments, once exposed to ambient or external conditions, cannot be maintained in a sterile state.

  • DO ensure to use only sterilization wraps and pouches that have been cleared for your market.
  • DON’T use 100% cellulose sterilization wraps when double-wrapping as these may require longer drying times.
Using pouches

IMPORTANT! If you are using pouches you MUST use the STATCLAVE pouch rack supplied with your unit to ensure optimal drying.

1- Position pouches with the paper side towards the tall support on the pouch rack. This will optimize drying.

2- Arrange pouches 2 per row to a maximum of 10 pouches to a rack.

The proper way to place pouches in the Statclave G4 pouch rack

3- Load one pouch rack on the bottom rail and the other on the second rail from the top.

A Scican Statclave G4 chamber autoclave with a full rack of wrapped instruments

CAUTION! Water droplets and visible signs of moisture on sterile packaging or the tape used to secure it, may compromise sterility of processed loads or be indicative of a sterilization process failure. Visually check outside wrapper for dryness. If there are water droplets or visible moisture on the exterior of the package or on the tape used to secure it, the pack or instrument tray is considered unacceptable.

  • DO use the STATCLAVE pouch rack supplied with your unit to position pouches on their sides.
  • DO use the STATCLAVE pouch rack supplied with your unit to position pouches on their sides.
  • DO package instruments individually. If you are placing more than one instrument in the same pouch, ensure they are made of the same metal.
  • DON’T stack pouches or wraps. Instead, use the pouch rack to keep pouches vertical. This will promote drying and enable effective sterilization.
  • DON’T store pouched or wrapped loads that are wet. If the wraps on a wrapped load are not dry when the load is removed, the instruments must be handled in an aseptic manner for immediate use or re-sterilized.
Using Wrapped Cassettes and Containers

You must use drying plates when processing wrapped cassettes to ensure airflow around cassettes and to promote proper drying.

For wrapped loads, place a chemical indicator inside each of the wrappings

When Inserting drying plates

1- Remove the wire trays from the unit and insert the drying plates into each of the slots in the base of the rack.

Inserting drying plates into Statclave G4 rack

2- The three plates should sit vertically, evenly placed in the rack.

The vertical drying plates placed evenly in the Statclave G4 rack

3- Place cassettes vertically into the unit to optimize drying.

Cassettes placed properly in the Statclave G4's chamber

 

When Using Wrapped Cassettes:

  • DO ensure you always use suitably porous material (sterilization paper, muslin napkins, etc.) and close the wrapping with adhesive tape designed for use in autoclaves.
  • DO ensure there is space for sufficient airflow between cassettes when loading more than one wrapped cassette per row.
  • DO always use adhesive tape designed for autoclaves or heat-sealing machines. Using staples, pins or other fasteners could compromise the sterility of the load.
  • DO be sure to insert wrapped cassettes with the flat side down to avoid tearing the wrap.

Unwrapped Instruments

Unwrapped instruments are also referred to as Immediate Use Instruments because once exposed to ambient or external conditions, they cannot be maintained in a sterile state. If you plan to store your instruments after sterilization, wrap them according to the instrument manufacturer’s instructions, select the appropriate wrapped cycle and allow it to run to completion.

  • DO use the trays provided with your unit to hold unwrapped instruments.
  • DO always use the trays with the chamber rack provided.
  • DO always use the extractor provided to remove trays from the sterilization chamber.
  • DO arrange instruments made of different metals (stainless steel, tempered steel, aluminum, etc.) on different trays or keep them well separated from each other.
  • DO arrange receptacles upside down to prevent water from pooling inside.
  • DO ensure objects on trays are always arranged with some distance between them ensuring they will remain in the same position for the entire sterilization cycle.
  • DO ensure that hinged instruments are sterilized in an open position.
  • DO position cutting instruments, (scissors, scalpels, etc.) so that they do not come into contact with each other during sterilization.

How to properly load unwrapped instruments on a Statclave G4 rack

  • DON’T load the trays beyond their maximum indicated limit. (See STATCLAVE Load Capacities chart at the start of Section 5. Loading Instruments)
  • DON’T stack trays or put them in direct contact with the sterilization chamber walls.

An improperly loaded rack of unwrapped instruments for a Statclave G4

Rubber and Plastic

The following materials CAN be sterilized in the STATCLAVE:

  • Nylon, polycarbonate (Lexan™), polypropylene, PTFE (Teflon™), acetal (Delrin™), polysulfone (Udel™), polyetherimide (Ultem™), silicone rubber, and polyester.

When loading rubber and plastic tubing on the tray, ensure they do not touch the chamber walls. This ensures that steam reaches all surfaces, and will promote drying.

Rubber and plastic instruments loaded on a Scican Statclave G4 rack

  • DO arrange receptacles upside down to prevent water from pooling inside.
  • DO process dental impression trays on the top tray to optimize drying.
  • DO process on the top tray any items with shapes that could collect water

Some additional tips for arranging rubber and plastic objects on the Statclave rack

IMPORTANT! DO NOT attempt to sterilize the following materials in the STATCLAVE:

  • Polyethylene, ABS, styrene, cellulosics, PVC, Acrylic (Plexiglas™), PPO (Noryl™), latex, neoprene, and similar materials.

Use of these materials may lead to instrument or equipment damage. If you are unsure of your instrument’s material or construction, do not sterilize it in your STATCLAVE until you have checked with the instrument manufacturer.

Textiles and Surgical Packs

Carefully wash and dry textile materials (or porous materials in general) such as smocks, napkins, caps, and others, before treating these in the autoclave. Do not use detergents with a high content of chlorine and/or phosphates and do not bleach with chlorine-based products. These substances can damage the tray supports, trays, and any metal instruments that may be present in the sterilization chamber.

Textile and surgical packs can be sterilized in the Scican Statclave G4 chamber autoclavle

Using Biological and Chemical Indicators

Use chemical process monitors suitable for steam autoclaves/sterilizers at the indicated cycle temperatures and times in or on each package or load being sterilized.

CAUTION! Only use FDA-cleared chemical and biological indicators. They should be designed for the particular sterilization cycle temperature and exposure time being monitored.

See our other posts about Scican Statclave G4 Setup and Operation:

Installing a Scican Statclave G4 Chamber Autoclave

Preparing a Scican Statclave G4 for Use

Running a Cycle on a Scican Statclave G4

 

*All information taken from SciCan STATCLAVE G4 Chamber Autoclave Operator’s Manual 95-115362 CA EN R3

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